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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Brother/sister pairs affected with early-onset, progressive muscular dystrophy: molecular studies reveal etiologic heterogeneity.

An autosomal recessive (AR) form of muscular dystrophy that clinically resembles Duchenne/Becker types exists, but its frequency is unknown. We have studied three unrelated affected brother/sister pairs and their families for deletions and polymorphisms with the entire dystrophin cDNA and other DNA probes from the Xp21 region to test for involvement of the DMD locus. In family 1 a large intragenic deletion was found in the affected male. The affected sister was heterozygous for this deletion, but the mother was not, implying germinal mosaicism. In family 2, no deletion was detected in the affected male. RFLP analysis revealed that the affected male and an unaffected sister shared a complete Xp21 haplotype while the affected sister had inherited a recombinant Xp21 region resulting from a crossover between pERT 87-15 and J-Bir. Only the 5' region of the dystrophin gene was shared with the affected boy. X-inactivation studies using a polymorphism in the 5'-flanking region of the HPRT gene, in conjunction with methylation-sensitive enzymes, revealed random X inactivation in the affected girl's leukocytes. In a muscle biopsy from the affected male, the dystrophin protein was present in normal amount and size. Family 3 was informative for four RFLPs detected with dystrophin cDNA probes which span the entire gene. The affected male was found to share the complete dystrophin RFLP haplotype with his unaffected brother, while his affected sister had inherited the other maternal haplotype. It is concluded that the clinical presentation of early-onset, progressive muscular dystrophy in a male and in his karyotypically normal sister can be caused by mutations at different loci. While in family 1 a deletion in the dystrophin gene is responsible, this gene does not appear to be involved in families 2 and 3.[1]


  1. Brother/sister pairs affected with early-onset, progressive muscular dystrophy: molecular studies reveal etiologic heterogeneity. Francke, U., Darras, B.T., Hersh, J.H., Berg, B.O., Miller, R.G. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1989) [Pubmed]
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